Yesterday, a "concerned neighborhood diner" vented about the recent rebranding of Charlie Palmer's District Meats into Charlie Palmer's District Tavern on Chow, claiming that the new "generic" venue caters exclusively to the "B&T crowd" (baseball and theatre) of "sprout-happy" Denver. And if anyone doubts that Palmer cares, his response to the Chow thread definitely confirms that he does. Not only does Palmer address concerned neighborhood diner's concerns, he's also very frank about the struggle settling into Denver: "I will admit, it’s hard to settle a new restaurant into a new town — hard to find the right mix of customers and blend them with the right mix of staff (we are still making adjustments on that end)." Palmer is also looking into the “Last Waltz” video situation, a detail concerned diner noted as missing.
Dear Concerned Neighborhood Diner,
In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I like feedback. It gives me a chance to address specific concerns.
First, thank you for the Teres Major shout out. Initially I was just trying to share my love for secondary cuts of meat – the kind of cuts that butchers used to keep for themselves—but it didn’t seem to resonate with most of the diners, and that’s what led me to rethink and then rebalance the menu.
As we do house such a large restaurant in the heart of downtown Denver, it is important for me to respond to what customers tell me they do and don't want based on what they do and don’t order. If that seems to tip towards “generic” to you, I don’t know what to say except that I am an old school guy who doesn’t dwell too much on restaurant “hooks” and “handles.” I primarily think about hospitality and that means trying to offer options that please a wide range of diners, even when they’re sitting at the same table.
But, I will admit, it’s hard to settle a new restaurant into a new town—hard to find the right mix of customers and blend them with the right mix of staff (we are still making adjustments on that end). Though, if you happen to be a Yelp or Open Table reader, I think you'll find that those who have stopped by during the last few months to give us a chance have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the food, atmosphere, and now the service.
All that aside, I hope to have the opportunity to stay in Denver, continue to settle into the LoDo District, and share some good food in a place you can come to rely on.
You mentioned that I have been on-site during a third of your visits, so the next time you see me, flag me down: You know my name. It would be nice to know yours.
PS: Sit tight at the bar: I am looking into the “Last Waltz” video situation.
· Open Letter to Charlie Palmer [Chow]
· 'Concerned Neighborhood Diner' Writes Charlie Palmer [EDen]
· All Charlie Palmer Coverage [EDen]
Charlie Palmer [Photo: Adam Larkey]